As you can well imagine, Cisco is excited and proud to be the Official Network Infrastructure supporter to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But you know what else we’re proud of? Cisco House, our 20,000-square-foot connected business showcase. It’s taking our customers to new heights—literally. And our technology partners are central to its success.
Throughout the games, customers are touring the “house,” which is perched above the entrance to Olympic Park. We’re engaging visitors with a multi-media, business transformation journey, where Cisco is uniquely relevant in a landscape where organizations, cities, and even entire countries are transforming to thrive in an increasingly connected world.
And the message is coming through loud and clear. It’s not just what Cisco makes. It’s what we make possible. And sharing this not-so-futuristic story wouldn’t be possible without the help of our incredible technology partners.
So hats off to Citrix, EMC, Intel, SAP, and Schneider Electric. They’re playing an invaluable role as we highlight a portfolio of customer- and public-facing technologies such as Videoscape, Stadium Vision, iServices, and my personal favorite, the Virtual Shopper experience. That’s worth its weight in ‘Gold.’ While Cisco has been a supplier in the past, this is the first time it’s an official sponsor of a world sporting event. Plus, for the first time in Olympic history, the Games’ network includes integrated voice, video, data, and cloud services for:
- The Office Admin LAN--The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games’ (LOCOG) platform for running administrative functions.
- The Games LAN--Mission-critical network for the aggregation of timing and scoring information, and pushes the results out to the global audience.
- Rate Card Services--Catalog of available services that can be ordered from LOCOG by accredited organizations such as broadcasters, press, international sporting federations, Olympic Committees, and sponsors.
In all, the network is comprised of:
- 1,800 wireless access points
- 16,500 telephones
- 65,000 active connections
- 2,200 switches
- 80,000 data ports
In support of:
- 300 events for 26 Olympic sports in 34 venues
- 471 events for 20 Paralympic sports in 21 venues
- 94 venues (20 mission critical)
- 76,000 LOCOG Staff / Volunteers
- 10,500 Olympic athletes
- 10M spectators
- 21K media/broadcast and 4.2B broadcast viewers
Citrix, EMC, Intel, SAP, and Schneider Electric are working with Cisco to provide technology and resources, including virtual desktops, data storage, processing power, analytical software, and energy management to Cisco House. The partnership demonstrates how partners can work together and create an ecosystem to transform business.
Jim O’Donnell, Cisco House Managing Director, put it best when he said, “We are delighted to be partnering with some of Cisco’s leading global Alliance Partners on this exciting and innovative project. Cisco House and our partnerships with these organisations demonstrate the power of the world’s leading technology companies working and thinking together and is a perfect showcase of how the network platform and world class partnerships are essential enablers for best-in-class country, city, or business transformations.”
Cisco House Highlights
The infrastructure within Cisco House is split into two discrete halves.
One half allows Cisco House to function as a regular office, with access to the corporate network, internal telephone system, TelePresence, and so on. The other half creates a unique private cloud environment in the house, including a Vblock data center architecture combined with a world-class borderless network.
In this private cloud, customers can leverage Videoscape to broadcast streaming Olympic events on their own mobile devices. In addition, guests can experience the power of Stadium Vision, Cisco’s sports and entertainment solution, by checking out the 25 live Olympic broadcast channels in Cisco House.
In addition, large screens powered by iServices, a cloud-based solution transforming public information services around the world, are everywhere in the house. Guests can search for useful information, connect with case studies, view videos on demand, and access the Internet and real-time travel information.
Cisco House also includes several other show-stoppers, including the fabulous Virtual Shopper experience I mentioned earlier. This demo lets visitors try clothes on virtually. Really! Fusing video, social media, and eCommerce, Virtual Shopper promises to lower store inventory costs. And just a guess here, but I think it will also lower the anxiety of heading to the “dressing room.”
Also cool is how Cisco House features digitally augmented reality screens of the River Thames based on a graphic running across the floor. As you swivel the augmenter along the Thames graphic, its digital screen displays case studies from across London where Cisco has helped customers solve their toughest business challenges.
Another awesome experience is how visitors bring Cisco House’s video wall to life as they “walk” along the London skyline. It displays information about iconic buildings in the city, and explains how Cisco is enabling London to keep pace in a changing world.
One of the house’s most popular “attractions” is the Business Transformation Experience. It’s a 25-minute multimedia show that brings together the main themes of Cisco House in one storyline. It includes a simulated journey across London, sharing the business and social importance of the intelligent network. It also includes a timeline tunnel that links today to tomorrow and a 360-degree theater that highlights big technology changes expected over the next five years.
Need I say more?
Cisco, with the help of our amazing partners, is helping communities around the world transform—delivering on our promise to change the way we work, live, play, and learn.
Have you visited Cisco House? Please share your impressions below. Or want to give a “shout out” to one of our partners? Feel free.